What is the point of this app?
Many historic sites have changed since their heyday. Others are hard to reach. Our augmented-reality apps solve both problems by merging the physical world with the virtual world, turning your smartphone or tablet into a "magic window" that overlays historic scenes and characters on the modern environment. MoonWalking is a demonstration app for this technology, bringing down to Earth a historic site that no one today can visit — Tranquility Base.

We are also bringing this technology to historic sites around the country, recreating those sites as they once were. Visitors explore the virtual and the real worlds simultaneously by walking around the site and comparing it to the view of the past on their mobile device. For more about our development services, please visit our website.

How does it work?
MoonWalking combines a 3D virtual world of Tranquility Base with location-based data from GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites to recreate the moon in your neighborhood. The app tracks your movement as you walk around, updating your location every second or two, so you can walk up for a closer look at the Lunar Module and pose for a picture with the astronauts. You can toggle between the complete virtual world of the moon and a composite view of the Lunar Module and astronauts against the view from your device's camera.

Got any tips for a good experience?
Find an open area (at least 60 meters square) without any buildings that might block GPS signals. Face north.

Walk slowly so the GPS can track your movements accurately.

The Lunar Module and astronauts may slide around some as the GPS refines your location. This movement should settle down after a little while.

Does it work indoors?
Not really. You need to be in a large yard or small park for the illusion of the Lunar Module and astronauts to look persuasive. You can play with the app indoors, just don't expect to walk around Tranquility Base.

Why is real-world view in the pictures fuzzy?
The camera feed is fairly low resolution (480x360 pixels). This is unfortunate but necessary — at higher resolutions, there is simply too much image data for the device to handle, and it runs extremely slowly.

Who are these guys?
Apollo 11 patch worn by astronauts
Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin were the first humans to land and walk on the moon. Along with Michael Collins, they left Earth on July 16, 1969 for the three-day trip to the moon. Collins, as Command Module Pilot, orbited the moon in the Command Module while Armstrong and Aldrin descended in the Lunar Module (LM).

This app recreates four events of the lunar landing:
  • During the descent and landing, Aldrin calls out navigation data as Armstrong flies the LM down to the surfce. Upon landing safely, Amstrong, as Commander of the mission, announces "Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed."

  • As Commander of Apollo 11, Armstrong exits the LM first and become the first human to set foot on the moon and uttered his famous remark, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." (He had intended to say "a man" but admits that in the radio transmission, the "a" is not audible.)

  • Aldrin joins Armstrong for a 2.5-hour moonwalk. During that excursion, they take a call from President Richard Nixon, and then unveil a plaque on the LM with the inscription: "Here Men From The Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We Came in Peace For All Mankind."

  • After their moonwalk, the astronauts sleep, then prepare to lift off and rejoin Collins in the Command Module. They spent 21 hours and 31 minutes on the lunar surface.

Learn more about Apollo 11 on Wikipedia and NASA's website.

Available on the App Store
iPhone 4+
iPad 2+ (with GPS)